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Franklin Knight Lane
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 419 pages of information about Letters of Franklin K. Lane.

But this is not a bit of geologic prophecy nor a Chapter I. to a love story, that I am writing.  This is a bread-and-butter letter.  I have been your guest and I am telling you that I have enjoyed myself.  But you, of course, wish something more than the bald statement that I like your place and that your bread was good and your butter sweet.  Yes, you deserve more, for this place is an expression of yourself.  No one can be here and not see you at every turn, even though you may be right now in Paris “making the way straight.”  You have put your love of beauty, your restrained love for color, and your exceptional sense of balance into the whole establishment.  It is a man’s house—­things are made for use; the chairs will stand weight; the couches are not fluff; one can lean with safety on the tables.  But everywhere the eye is satisfied.  My bed is beautiful, French I fancy, yet it is comfort itself.  The lamp beside my bed is a dull bit of bronze which does not poke itself into your sleepy eye, yet you know that it fits the need, not only for light but for satisfaction to the eyes after the light comes.  And the bath tub—­may I speak of a bath tub in a bread-and-butter letter?—­the bath tub is not too long—­do you ever suffer from the long, long stretch into the cold water at your back and the imperfect support to the head which imperils your entire submergence?—­your bath tub is not too long, and I grab it on both sides to get out.  And as I dry myself I look down into that garden of precise, trimmed and varied green upon which the rambler roses smile.

It is well to have had money.  No Bolshevism comes out of such a place as this.  It makes no challenge to the envy of the submerged tenth.  It has not ostentation.  It gives off no glare, and it is all used.  For men who can put money to such use, who do not over-indulge their own love for things of beauty, nor build for luxurious living, but mould a bit of seashore, some trees and a rambling house into an expression of their own dignified and balanced natures, for such men I am quite sure there is or will be, no social peril from the Red.

And may I close with a word, an inadequate and most feeble word, as to the Lady of the House who so perfectly complements the beauty and the refinement of her setting.  She would make livable and lovable a shack, and she would draw to it those who think high thoughts.  She has an aura of sympathy and companionability which makes her one with the healing earth and the warming, encompassing sunshine; May you and she give many more sojourners as much of the right stimulus as you have given yours affectionately,

FRANKLIN K. LANE

TO ROLAND COTTON SMITH

New York, July 9, [1920]

My dear padre,—­Oh, that I could reply to you in kind, but alas and alack! the gift divine has been denied me.  My Nancy comes to me tomorrow—­Praise be to Allah! and I shall duly, and in appropriate and prideful language, I trust, present her with your mellifluous lines.

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